Race has impact on doctor-patient communication

Here's another dispatch from what is becoming a daily stream of information that all is not well in medical race relations. This time, it's a study from Johns Hopkins Hospital, which concludes that communication with physicians about high blood pressure is worse for blacks than whites.

In the study, which was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers looked at 226 high blood pressure patients and 39 physicians from 15 primary care practices in Baltimore. To determine how communication between patient and doctor went, coders listened to recordings of visits. They found that black patients had shorter office visits, less exchange of biomedical and psychosocial information and less rapport-building with doctors than their white counterparts.

This is an important finding because lessened communication doesn't lead to good outcomes, researchers note. In fact, poorer communication is typically associated with worse adherence to therapy and worse pressure control, which can lead to worse disease outcomes.

To learn more about the study:
- read this UPI piece

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